So….. Off to work I go to begin the new work year. At lunch I race to a doctor’s appointment and then to the scratch and dent. I identify a very good deal (not what I’d really like but not bad) and I write up a check. They put the check in the telecheck machine and it says no, you can’t write a check here. It spits out a code that nobody has ever seen. This takes a long time with three guys standing over the little machine scratching their [heads]. Finally I say “I have to go back to work” I will come back later with cash. This, of course, because I am waiting for a new debit card from the bank (sheesh). Race back to work. As I am figuratively racing, I see behind me the flashing lights of the local constabulary. I am in the far left lane, don’t know what you are supposed to do. I manage to cross 3 lanes of traffic and pull off the road, mystified; I wasn’t speeding, I wasn’t talking on my cell phone (legal here but causes drunk type driving). The nice officer informs me that my tags are expired. Silly me, I am supposed to remember that they expire even though the DMV always sends a renewal and they didn’t. I am also supposed to remember that they expire on my birthday even though I never look at the back of my car. Oh well, I always think it renews on the month that you registered your car, like other states. The nice policeman writes me a ticket but says, no worries, just renew your tags and take the renewal to the clerk’s office and they’ll drop the ticket for $10. Great, another lunch hour excursion to look forward to. He also says carry the ticket because it is basically a 30 day free pass, they can’t write you a second ticket. Good news, I can drive illegally til I have time to go to the DMV to renew. (Of course the p.s. to this part of the story is that I did get stopped again, second officer nowhere near as nice as the first, dumb as a rock and pissed that he can’t write me a ticket. He really wants to know why I didn’t go to the DMV over the weekend to renew my tags – of course DMV is not open over the weekend, everybody knows that). Now I am quite late getting back to work. As I drive back to work, I call the telecheck folks and some guy in Pakistan says no, there is nothing negative on file, but no I can’t write a check, no that’s all he knows and no he can’t explain any further. (Sheesh). Later, I sneak out to the bank for cash. Finally, I leave work and race back to the store, provide the cash and they say well now it is too late to get it on the truck for delivery tomorrow. Tomorrow, of course, is Saturday, the only day there is someone home and available to take delivery. I beg, whine, plead and cajole and finally they agree to put it on the truck. Saturday they bring my new washer and now I have the pleasure of facing the mountains of laundry still remaining to do! But I love my new washer. If only it could fold. Now if I just had a working stove my enslavement would be complete.